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Composting helps us fulfill the “three Rs” and makes us resilient, too – Frog Hole Farm


You’ve heard the mantra: Cut back, Reuse, Recycle. It in all probability makes you consider plastics and different human-made stuff, proper? However do you know that Mom Nature is the last word reducer, re-user and recycler of all? Our compost windrows are huge, field-sized recycling bins, they usually’re additionally a cornucopia of vitamin for our bushes. 

Listed below are all of the issues we love about compost and the way we use it at Frog Hole Farm:

We scale back meals waste. A 280-acre farm with tens of 1000’s of bushes generates a number of fruit. We promote our fruit to our mail order, CSA, Farmers Market and retail prospects. Fruit that’s too ripe or cosmetically challenged for recent consuming is dried, utilized in our pastry, or made into conserves. Fruit that’s too broken for use within the kitchen isn’t wasted! As an alternative, we put it to work in our huge compost windrows. We generate at the least 3,000 tons of compost every year. Sure, you learn that proper – tons. A few of that tonnage comes from unusable fruit and spent espresso grounds from Blue Bottle espresso. (We decide up 5 tons of espresso grounds every week from their manufacturing facility in Berkeley.) Our fruit drying and farm kitchen workers additionally put aside peels, cores, pits and pulp for the compost rows. Nothing goes to waste.

We reuse pure supplies and provides them new life. Think about if we didn’t discover a place for tons of fruit waste and low grounds (and tree prunings, horse bedding, wooden chips, and shredded cardboard). All this helpful waste would languish in a landfill the place it could produce methane, a greenhouse fuel that contributes to international warming. We shudder on the thought. Compost offers us a novel superpower: we reuse what we can’t use.  

We recycle natural waste into vitamins that feed our soil. Compost creates an ecosystem of billions of microscopic organisms that nourish our bushes. A great compost pile is 70 % carbon and 30 % nitrogen. This ratio promotes extra fast decomposition of natural matter – the earlier our compost breaks down, the earlier we will use it. Carbon comes from the branches we prune, fruit waste, cuttings, and extra. Nitrogen comes from the Blue Bottle espresso grounds.

Timing is every little thing. We wait till fall to unfold compost within the orchards for 2 causes. 

First, we’re making use of 10 tons of compost per acre throughout 280 acres, utilizing a trailer and tractor with a spreader attachment. The attachment spreads the compost onto the orchard berms. Compost is dusty, so we wait till our summer season harvest is over so we don’t get compost on the fruit. 

Second, placing the compost on the bottom within the fall is a good way to arrange for the wet season. Rain pulls compost vitamins into the soil profile, feeding our bushes by way of the seasons and constructing our soil’s resilience.

Now we have one other “R” for the checklist: Cut back, Reuse, Recycle and Resilient! From decreasing meals waste to enhancing our soil’s capability to carry water and make vitamins accessible to our bushes, composting helps us obtain nice issues for our farm and our planet.

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